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Kenton’s recreation program gets boost from $2,000 donation

Kenton’s recreation program gets boost from $2,000 donation

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Kenton’s Summer Recreation Program got a major donation from the city Tuesday night — a $2,000 commitment that will help the program operate this summer.
Scott Reeves met with the Kenton mayor and board of aldermen Tuesday night and asked for financial support for the program.
“We really need some help,” he pleaded with the board.
He went into detail about how the program has managed to get by on the generosity of volunteers and the support of the business community. But, he said, “it’s tough” to keep the program going without financial support. He said there is less than $1,000 available to start the summer ball season.
Reeves said he expects 80 to 100 youngsters will participate in the summer recreation program.
He went on to describe the work that has been done on the batting cages, the new roof on the concession stand and the new scoreboards at the park. Reeves said there is still a need for new lighting and new fencing in the park, but the most pressing need is financial support.
“I think we ought to help them … because it’s for the kids,” Mayor Virginia Davidson said just before the board voted unanimously for the $2,000 donation. The city’s financial support will be spread out with $500 monthly donations over the next four months.
“That would help out great,” an obviously grateful Reeves told the board. He was joined at Tuesday’s meeting by Brandon Dunn.
There was also talk during Reeves’ presentation about possibly applying for grants for the summer recreation program and board member Angie Taylor made a suggestion about the possible availability of some chain link fencing that could be used in the park.
Also during Tuesday night’s near hour-and-15-minute meeting, the board agreed to seek summer mowing bids for city property, approved spending $1,600 for new street signs and granted preliminary approval of an ordinance to raise the city’s utility connection fees and deposits.
“I really think we need to do it with summer coming on,” board member Tim Johns said about putting up new streets signs around town.
As for the new utility fees, the board had to rescind an earlier vote for the fees to make way for a state required city ordinance to raise the rates. The ordinance will be drafted in time for next month’s meeting, but the board went ahead and approved the first of three votes on the rate increases.
Under the new ordinance, renters will have to pay a $150 deposit and a $35 connection fee for water and sewer. Homeowners will have to pay at $75 deposit and a $35 connection fee. The move by the board is necessary because the city is losing money from unpaid utility bills.
In other action, the board:
• Acknowledged a donation of 2.6 acres from Pat Wade, with the land to be incorporated into the city’s park program. Ms. Wade stipulated that the property be designated Wade Park and the city not cut any of the trees from the land.
• Rejected a proposal from board member Faye Sharp to raise the rent for the city’s Community Center from $100 to $150. Mrs. Sharp serves as the city’s parks and recreation commissioner and pointed out to the board the city is losing money under its current $100 rental fee. However, her motion was defeated by a 5-1 vote as other members of the board stood strongly opposed to the increase.
It was decided Tuesday night to meet with those who are renting the facility and come up with a new usage policy.
• Briefly discussed problems being experienced by city residents with blackbirds and squirrels. Among the suggestions to handle the blackbird problem was the use of fireworks.
• Was informed by Ms. Taylor, the city police commissioner, that the Kenton Police Department responded to 85 calls for service last month and wrote 26 citations. She announced at the meeting that officer Shane Hutchens has left the police department and has been replaced by Dave Davis.
Mrs. Taylor also reported that Police Chief Kyle Kirk will take over the renovation of the police department.
• Was informed by the mayor that new radios have been ordered for the city’s police and fire departments and work is proceeding to switch over to the new radio system.
• Publicly praised the work of city clerk Shayna Jackson and public works supervisor Nate Spencer.
Tuesday’s meeting was opened in prayer by board member Sarah Skinner.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 2.6.13

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